What is reasonable to expect from your printer? - PFL Printing Blog
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  • slider 11 Aug 2008        By: Jessie

Anybody who knows just a little about commercial printing will tell you about the “mystique” it has. (And when I say mystique, it’s really a nice way of saying “lack of transparency and customer service.”) For such an old profession, the printing industry hasn’t evolved in the way it interacts with its customers.

Far be it from me to spout off platitudes. I’m not a highly paid customer service guru. But I know what I want when it comes to a service provider and I would venture to guess that most people do too. I want someone to be responsive to my needs, to treat me fairly, make my life easier, be an expert, and own up to their mistakes when they happen. That used to come with a handshake. Now we gird our loins for a fight as we dial the phone … that is if we get anyone on the phone at all.

So, what is reasonable to expect from your printer? I don’t think it’s at all outlandish to know, in advance, how much you’re going to pay for your project. I think it’s within expectations to know when you’re going to see a proof. I believe you should know when it’s going to arrive at your door and be able to change the production speed and shipping method if you need your finished product faster. And I believe you should receive exactly the kind of service you want from your printer. Online printer as vending machine? No problem. Need to have someone talk you through the entire process? You got it. In either case, you should expect to get someone on the phone immediately or to respond to your email within the same business day.

If all this sounds reasonable, then why doesn’t it happen regularly? Well, good service is not only hard to come by these days, it’s just plain hard. Giving good, thorough service is hard work. It takes vast amounts of dedication on the part of employees and careful training, clear values statements and trust from executives. It saves money to say no. It decreases staff expenses when humans don’t answer the phones. It’s easy to nickel and dime. What’s hard is developing a company culture in which employees—from front door to loading dock—genuinely care about their customers’ success.

I know a lot of people, including me, who have made it a point to buy from vendors who provide excellent customer service and high value while avoiding those that don’t. Personally, I just can’t be bothered. If you’re the same way and you’re still putting up with a printer who has that certain “mystique” … maybe you should ask yourself, why?

3 thoughts on “What is reasonable to expect from your printer?

  1. YES! YES! YES! It is not too much to ask that the company you are employing to serve your most valued need (marketing) actually care about your project. I have not had the opportunity to work with PFL very often, being non profit in South Florida shipping is a concern, but what stood out to me the most is their customer service. Thank you, PFL, for your dedication to me!

  2. Bravo! Very well said, loved this entry. And for these reasons… I will continue to love my printer, PFL :)

    Absolutely LOVE the new blog, it’s written with such a neat flair and personality. I will bookmark this page and make it part of my weeks reading from now on.

    Thanks PFL for being so AWESOME, in sooooooooo many ways.

    Brittany Allen
    2nd Story Design

  3. Thank you for your comments and encouragement! Keep them coming, I need all the help I can get. :-) Keep standing up for great customer service. The more we demand of our vendors and service providers the better the service with get!

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